Beyond $15

Beyond $15

Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement

Book - 2017
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"The inside story of the first successful $15 minimum wage campaign that renewed a national labor movement SeaTac, Washington--a small city built around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport--gained national recognition as the first successful $15 minimum wage battleground. But what most people don't know is that the SeaTac fight didn't begin with wages. The campaign emerged from an unlikely coalition that first united over the right of Muslim airport workers to pray. When unions stood in solidarity with Somali immigrants in a conflict with their employer over prayer breaks, something remarkable happened. From this skirmish a powerful coalition of immigrant workers, clergy, and unions emerged to force a dramatic showdown with the airlines and political establishment. At stake was not just money but justice: whether the airport economy would serve the needs of everyone who made it work. Driven by captivating narrative and insightful analysis, Jonathan Rosenblum's book reveals the inside story of SeaTac: airport workers and clergy staging face-to-face confrontations with corporate leaders; the challenges of uniting a diverse, largely immigrant workforce; and the internal tensions that nearly destroyed the coalition. Beyond $15 is a blunt assessment of the daunting problems within today's unions; a blueprint for a powerful, all-inclusive labor movement; and a call for workers to reclaim their power and voice in the new economy"--
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780807098127
Branch Call Number: 331.62097 R7239B 2017
Characteristics: xv, 208 pages ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Beyond fifteen dollars


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At 191 pages BEYOND $15 is a brisk, well-written narrative about the organizing campaign at Sea-Tac International Airport that led to the first successful public initiative for a $15/hr. minimum wage. Written by the organizing director of the campaign coalition, one would expect a lot of cheerleading here; rather, what you get is an unvarnished look at the existential crisis facing organized labor as union density in the U.S. continues to bleed out. Combining an assessment of neoliberalism's impact -- deregulation and the weakening of bankruptcy law -- on the airline industry, a withering indictment of big business and conventional unionism, and a bullhorn call for incorporating faith and community leaders as planners and partners, not just show ponies, in organizing struggles, this is a dynamite book.


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